Susan Ellis Weismer receives 2021 Hilldale Award

MADISON – Each year, the Secretary of the Faculty recognizes four professors from the University of Wisconsin–Madison for distinguished contributions to research, teaching and service.

The Hilldale Awards go to one faculty member each from the arts and humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and biological sciences, selected from nominations by department chairs. The winners were recognized at the April 5 Faculty Senate meeting and are awarded $7,500.

Susan Ellis Weismer
Susan Ellis Weismer, PhD

Susan Ellis Weismer, Oros Family Chair, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Waisman investigator is among this year’s Hilldale Award recipients.

Ellis Weismer is an expert on language learning disorders in children. She has contributed new insights into three major language-associated disorders: autism spectrum disorder, developmental language disorder, and children who are late to talk. Her work has uncovered previously hidden patterns of learning in children living with these disorders, which has contributed not only to a better understanding of their causes but also to their treatment.

Over her 37 years at UW–Madison, Ellis Weismer has taught 11 different courses, from large-enrollment undergraduate classes to high-level graduate seminars, for which she receives consistently high praise from students for her passion and expertise. She has mentored more than 30 students over her career, with many going on to make their own significant contributions to the field.

As a leader in the department, including as chair, Ellis Weismer helped grow the program through faculty searches and mentored several junior faculty. And for 11 years, she served as associate dean for research in the College of Letters & Science, steering the research enterprise before electing to return to the department as a full-time faculty member.

“The CSD department is delighted with the Hilldale award going to Professor Susan Ellis Weismer, an internationally renowned scholar in the area of childhood language development and disorders,” says department chair Ruth Litovsky.